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Providing a safe environment for lone workers


Lone worker safety is an emerging topic imperative to many industries and workers. Lone workers are those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision. These workers include park rangers, roofers, after-hour security guards, paramedics, delivery drivers and more. With the rise in remote working and post-pandemic company structures, consideration should be made for providing a safe work environment for lone workers.


The biggest challenge with working alone is that the worker becomes more vulnerable, especially in cases of chemical and environmental hazards. An added hazard of lone working is the inability to ask a fellow worker or person to obtain assistance or render aid in a medical emergency.

The most common dangers in lone working are workplace violence, heavy lifting, working with electricity and chemicals and working from heights. The most common injuries sustained by lone workers result from slips, trips, falls, violence, falls from heights and being struck by moving objects.

Safety tips

Here are some steps to help reduce the frequency and severity of workplace-related injuries:

Risk assessment

Identify the risks related to the working environment. Evaluate the hazards on a scale of low, medium and high. The evaluation should also include who might be harmed and how, procedures to prevent harm, and actions to reduce risk.

Lone working policy

A lone worker policy is the next step after assessing the risks in the workplace. This policy should explain risks, describe the organization's commitment, define responsibilities and provide guidance for reporting incidents, as well as support and contact info for the workers to reference.

The policy should also explain how the workers should act in certain situations, including how the lone worker should check in with their supervisor and how often, what to do in an emergency, including evacuation procedures and who to contact and what to do when another party shows signs of aggression.


Once the lone worker policy is in place, the employer should start training new and current employees. This training should be conducted regularly and should be revised when necessary. There are significant benefits to lone working training. Training can challenge complacent attitudes amongst lone workers and help minimize the escalation/severity of an accident or incident by knowing how to respond and increase well-being and productivity.

Future solutions

There have been increased discussions revolving around solutions and technology for lone workers. Wearable technology and AI pave the way for a safer environment while working alone. One solution is a safety app that monitors staff and allows employees to signal for help.

With the push of a button, the worker can communicate with the emergency response teams and the worker's supervisor. Real-time location tracking is also a feature many apps are relying on to monitor a lone worker's safety.

Another example is fall detection wearable technology. Slips, trips and falls are among the most common workplace hazards and injuries. With this technology, a supervisor can receive an alert if a worker happens to fall while working alone.


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